XBOX 360 Hacked

Several sources have posted that the XBOX 360 is hacked, and a mod chip will be out within the next month. Microsoft has also had several people arrested for trying to sell backup 360 games. Bad news for Microsoft. Good news for all of us ROM, linux, and XBMC people.

Think about it. This will probably be the first console that will support a popular full version of linux code, including 3d linux games.

Full speed emulation on some of the previous stuff that the first XBOX may not have been able to do perfectly. Possibly full speed emulation of the sega saturn, sega dreamcast, PSP, NDS, Playdia, PC-FX, gamecube, and PS2 as well.

Why emulation on a console versus original hardware or pc?

#1: Space saving - Less consoles connected. With emulation, you have the ability to play most, if not all of your game systems on 1 game system.

#2: While you have a limited ability to transfer save games/files to and from some game systems, it's usually not on a permanent medium. There are also some cases, as an anti-cheat measure, that will not allow you to copy some save games, like PSO on the gamecube. Having the save games copied from hard drive to hard drive, backed up on a cd or dvd-rom, etc is better to protect your information.

#3: Console emu versus pc emu = most of these games were made for a console system. No one wants to spend countless hours in an uncomfortable computer chair, playing their games on a monitor all of the time. With a console, sit back, hook up a wireless controller, and play to your heart's content.

#4: A lot of game systems are getting older, damaged, and harder and more expensive to replace. How many years before we'll not be able to find a saturn, dreamcast, turbo duo, or other gaming system for a reasonable price? Emulation may not be perfect or 100% compatible with true hardware, but with good code, it can do great, sometimes even better than some of the older retro/classic systems, with updated video resolution and clearer, cleaner images.

#5: Save states - if your game doesn't have much or any save spots in it, just use save states. You may want to use it for really hard or really long games, or even ones that had long passwords instead of true save spots.

#6: Use of both original hardware/software, emulation, and linux on the same machine. Play your original 360 games, and when you're done, boot up linux or play your favorite emulator.

When I modded my XBOX and tried out some of the emulators, I pretty much quit using pc emulators and have been able to put some of my original video game systems up for safe keeping. I play sega genesis/cd emulators on it quite often, and it's just like playing the real thing, but better in some ways...
Actually AFAIK all that happened is that some group discovered that a demo disc image was bootable from DVD-R (or other media), since it didn't have the media check... this was on /. the other day, not sure if you're referring to any other news or not. Anyway, the binaries are still signed, so the 360 really hasn't been broken by a long shot and probably won't be.

As for 'full version of Linux'.. there are several consoles that run Linux already, including Dreamcast, Playstation2, and the original Xbox (which is probably the 'fullest' version out there). As far as the 360 is concerned, it uses a proprietary ATi chip, and given how much of a pain it is to get good 3D out of any of the newer Radeons, I wouldn't expect to see hardware accelerated OpenGL on the 360 any time soon.
Sega Saturn on the XBOX 360?

Why don't we first try getting it done on PC... and also get DC running much better with more compatability first.

Though I agree with you about emulation allowing a much easier preservation of my gaming experience, there is a much easier way of doing it then modifying an XBOX. I've got a 2Ghz P4 machine with a ti4200 and tv out hooked up to my HDTV (I use the DVI port though, i used to use the S-vid till I got HD).

That way I also get to use a Saturn USB controller for a more accurate feel! (it'd be cool if they made the saturn controller blue tooth... or atleast IR)
The answer is simple. The XBOX 360 is a 4ghz processor, as opposed to the average PC user, using between 1.4ghz and 3.2ghz, and the high cost of 4ghz processors, if there are even any out there yet. So, programmers will have more speed to mess around with. It will not be an end all solution to emulation, because new stuff comes out every 3-5 years, but it will be the ultimate emulation machine for 2006-2007, if we can get a nice mod chip out there.

Originally posted by lordofduct@Thu, 2005-12-29 @ 02:00 AM

Sega Saturn on the XBOX 360?

Why don't we first try getting it done on PC... and also get DC running much better with more compatability first.

[post=142981]Quoted post[/post]​

The XBOX 360, as a gaming machine, hasn't really impressed me much at all. There is a high bug/defect percentage in systems out now, and there is also a problem with the system scratching up the discs. Microsoft has released a statement acknolodging the disc scratching problem, yet said it will not be replacing the discs. Why? They've stated that it's caused by moving the system while a game is in it, from the vertical standing position to the flat standing position. I really don't believe that's the only cause of the discs being scratched/ruined though.

MS made a machine that's meant to be hacked and slashed any and every way. Other PC STBs cost just too much to build. This thing could do most, if not all, of what you'd want it to do. Play almost any game, media, surf the web, and who knows, maybe record video and such... Of course, some one would have to port or program emulators and other software for it, but rest assured, that will happen.
Ok, that's a gross oversimplification. First off, it's not a 4ghz processor, it's three cores each running at 3.2ghz. Plenty of power to be sure, but these aren't G5s we're dealing with -- they're rather stripped down by comparison... I don't think there are any hard benchmarks, but my guess is that each core is significantly slower than a newer P4 running at the same clock speed. Secondly, my understanding of the matter is limited, but I don't believe traditional emulation is something that is really aided by parallel processing, although this may be different with dynarec cores or when emulating multiple CPUs and so forth. Third, to get any kind of acceptable emulation speed when emulating newer systems is going to require hardware accelerated 3d, which as I said above is most likely not going to be an easy thing to accomplish. Even older systems will likely require some acceleration for smooth drawing, hardware scaling, and vsync.

So essentially, even when/if a good modchip comes out (which I believe will happen, but it may take some time), a fair bit of work is going to be required to get emulators running and running well. It may be possible to cross-compile software that uses DirectX for the 360 without official tools, but if that proves not to be workable, the wait is going to be a lot longer. You may see some emulators or other software coming out compiled with the official MS devkit, but those won't be legal.
In general, it seems like it takes less processing power to emulate on consoles compared to PCs. I suppose that's because you don't have all of the other background programs running, or hundreds of other processes, which may have 1 or 2 with memory leaks, etc. It seems as though programmers can focus on one thing, optimizing a program to be the only program ran at the time. Also, there will probably be no programming for compatibility on 200 different video cards, sound cards, cpus, or what ever else.

There have been a few cases of games running on one cpu or one video card and not the other. One example I can give you is Virtua On, for the PC. It would not run on an XP cpu, only intel. Another example is Art of Magic (I believe that's the one at least) - it runs fine on a geforce video card, but on the ATI video cards I tried, 3d wasn't accelerated. So, every thing was slow. MS could always change gears and release different hardware in another revision, but it would have to be compatible with previous versions.

If the XBOX 360 can emulate the xbox, from a completely different type of CPU, it will emulate PS2 and gamecube, as long as some one is smart enough to program an emulator for it :/

I imagine if they wanted to get technical, they could also assign a different thread to each process, to emulate multi-cpu systems, like the saturn as well.

As far as legalities are concerned, by even purchasing any thing microsoft, you're agreeing that you don't own the system, software, or any thing that microsoft has made, you're only using their license, and agreeing not to back up your games, even though legally under US copyright law section 117. Who cares what MS thinks or wants. They should know by now that a big part of their buyers are using the systems for modding.

It would be bad if people only bought the system and no games, because they're subsidizing the systems and trying to sell the games for $10 more per game, to offset what they lose on the systems. As long as you buy 10-20 games in its life, there shouldn't be a problem with using the system for emulation or linux.
As far as consoles requiring less power to emulate things than PCs, that may be true to some extent, but it's a small factor generally. I think the 360 likely has the power to do Gamecube or PS2 emulation, but keep in mind that Microsoft has so far had limited success with their Xbox emulation, and that's in spite of the fact that they have all the documentation and have certainly thrown hundreds of thousands of dollars at the problem. I don't mean to knock your optimism, I'm just saying that it's naive to expect these things any time soon.

As for using different threads to emulate different processors, I believe this is possible, but there are sync issues involved as well, an these may be a challenge to overcome.
I guess we can agree to disagree on some things lol, but I think I'll meet you in the middle on a timeline. If you look how long it took to really crack the PS1, to have some good compatibility, which probably wasn't even that great until maybe 2 years ago, and there still are sync and sound issues with some of the PS1 games.

And let's not forget how long it took someone to release a good neo geo emulator, probably *THE* emulator I waited the longest for. I think it took about 7 years of work on it, if I remember correctly. Don't quote me on that, but it was worth the wait at the time.

If we use those two machines as timelines of when the ps2 and gamecube are going to be cracked, we could have a long wait. However, emulation itself is more popular than when they were working on a neo geo port, and therefore, more people will be working on them. Hopefully, those people can share information and get out an emulator faster, without having a few people hog up the information and taking credit for it.

I know that the ps2 and cube would have to be cracked *PERIOD* from one source or another (PC, MAC, Console) before we could have an emulator on whatever platform it comes out on. That is the first step, even if it's released on the PC first, and then ported to the xbox when the 360 dev kit is leaked, if it isn't already.

I don't think any thing I've said is unrealistic. The time line doesn't depend on what I or any one else says though. It depends on the people who work on it, and possibly those who leak information. It may be more realistic to say that it could be tomorrow (highly unlikely) or it could be 5 years (I hope not) down the road. Who's going to get lucky first, and when?
Yeah, but the Neo Geo is much simpler than the PS2 or Gamecube, and its chips are also much more publicly documented.

Also, you talk about using a leaked 360 dev kit to port an emulator -- that wouldn't be legal, and in my opinion many/most reputable and skilled emulator authors would avoid such a thing.

You're talking about the 360 as if it will be THE system for emulation and homebrew, which may well end up being the case, but who knows? I doubt much of a scene will spring up for those things before the PS3 is released (juding by previous consoles), and if the PS3 proves easier to develop or release for, the majority of the homebrew scene may use that instead. It wouldn't be characteristic of Sony, but it's possible they may release a free/cheap devkit for the masses (sort of like they did with the Yarouze PSX). If that happens I doubt we'll see much activity on the 360.
This isn't a Sony VS MS thing. The original XBOX was essentially a PC. I did a brief search on PS2 emulators, and at first, thought it had some good stuff, but after reading documentation about how buggy their releases were, it seems as they are just half-assed releases.

I personally have all three systems: XBOX, PS2, Gamecube. The least buggy being the cube, most buggy being the ps2. In fact, I returned like 3 PS2 units, because they're cheap junk. Every one of my hardcore gamer friends that has/had a ps2 has went through at least 2 dead systems. Memory card slot failure, vibration control failure, slow loading, dvd-rom cover falling off for no reason, scratching discs, laser failure.

The PS3 will most likely have the same problems as the ps2, because Sony doesn't have their "stuff" together. They, however, do have every one by the balls for some reason. They know it, and if they release a buggy console, they'll deny it, like they denied (and still deny) the mass laser/skipping problems of the original playstation. I went through this too. Got a playstation for Christmas one year, along with one of those madden games, and skip skip skip through all the talking. It was bad, and at the time, I was under the impressions that *ALL* playstation systems were supposed to skip.

I'm still on my first XBOX system. It has played through around 50 original games, several backups, several hours of internet radio, probably 100 hours of network video (not streaming, but playing through media in a pc from the xbox), probably 70+ hours of playing dvds, and hundreds of roms, and has only frozen appx 2 times over several years. The gamecube has never froze or given me any problems.

No system is perfect. We all expect to have a buggy first release, and then in a couple revisions, the problems fixed. The original playstation somewhat fixed its laser/skipping problem, and the xbox fixed their dirty disc errors, by replacing the thompson drive. This is the penalty for buying a console as soon as it's released. I believe sega would have fixed the controller port and laser problems on their dreamcast, if the system ever would have taken off the ground as well, but that never happened. As of a year or so ago, Sony still had not fixed much/many/any/all of their PS2 bugs. I don't know if they've fixed any problems on the slimline model yet.

I'm not going by what every dick and joe say on the web. I'm going by experience with all three consoles.

In the end, I predict that people are going to use the PS3 for gaming and (ahem) backups, and the less popular XBOX 360 for alternative stuff. There's no doubt that some emulators will be released on the ps3 and probably a linux port on both systems.

I will also be getting every console system that comes out eventually, including the 360, ps3, and revolution, just as I've bought almost every other console system before.
But why would the 360 become the system of choice for emulators/homebrew if the PS3 proves easier to develop and release for? I'm not saying that it will, but if that is indeed the case, most homebrew developers will likely opt for the PS3. It's kind of like the DS vs PSP thing right now -- the reason that the PSP is seeing so much homebrew development is not necessarily because it's the most powerful handheld system (although that certainly helps) -- it's because the barrier to entry is so low, unlike the DS which requires additional hardware to run homebrew code.
Besides stability and its likeness to a PC, it's just what people want and expect. I really don't know if you can add or change out the dvd-rom drives in the xbox 2, although you could in the original xbox, but I know that people are already putting their own hard drives in the xbox 360, mostly for legit uses right now probably. If you have the ability to add or change out those two devices, that gives it an edge alone. Maybe programming will be harder for it, but if the mod isn't user friendly, less people will do it, therfore bringing more demand to the 360, for those wanting to use their consoles for things that it wasn't meant to be used for.

No one wants to have to solder 40+ wires, take out or change eproms, or adding an external interface to be able to use other devices. Well, I'll revise that.. Some of the tech/mod heads out there want to do just that, but not the average joe modder lol
Originally posted by Malakai@Thu, 2005-12-29 @ 08:52 PM

There is a high bug/defect percentage in systems out now,

Just like for any other console system at launch.

and there is also a problem with the system scratching up the discs.

Yes, you totally need to move the console while playing, i agree. Heck I can't play PS2 games without moving the console to at least 3 locations in my room per gaming session. The X360 is such a failure in this aspect !!!

Microsoft has released a statement acknolodging the disc scratching problem, yet said it will not be replacing the discs. Why?

Because last time i checked the manual stated that you shouldn't move around the console while it had a disc inside / is turned on (forgot which).

The x360 may also break if you smash it to the wall, or drop a brick on it. It's so horrible =(
I don't think you understood what I said. I said that Microsoft is blaming it on people moving the console while playing, to keep from replacing discs. Some people have reported this "Scratching disc syndrome" as happening *WITH OUT* ever moving the console.
I know many people who have an x360 and none of them have any of those problems.

Microsoft is blaming it on people moving the console while playing, to keep from replacing discs.

If the instruction manual says that you shouldn't move the console when playing, then I see no problem with that.
Well, I'm sure in the next six months, we'll see some defect percentage numbers. Media outlets like CNN and several other news reporting agencies has only said "High defect rating and returns" and said that Microsoft admitted to most of the problems, besides this "Disc Scratching Syndrome"

If your buddies have one that works, I guess that's good, but until we know what percentage the defect consoles are really, whether it be 10%, 30%, 50%, or what ever, it's still a problem that Microsoft will have to revise in the future. Hopefully the new units coming out between now and the next 3-4 months at various retailers will be 1st revisions and fix some of the overheating, freezing, DOA (Dead on arrivals, as well as units that play fine for the first few hours/days/weeks and then mysteriously die, like some others are reporting now, after having the systems for a few weeks), and graphic glitch problems.
ummmm the 360 VPU is based directly off of the 1000-series chips by ATi correct? I believe more specifically the 1800's. Well, this being pretty much the chip w/ the most balls out there and more than 90% of the damn market has now, how would it be hard to get 3D games on the 360? Doesn't make sense. You are saying that the new cards can barely do 3D..they beat out the 7800's or whatever that NVidia makes so obviously it's doin pretty good.

In general you jsut sounded like a fan boy saying it can't get any decent 3D when in fact it can produce very awesome 3D and it's not completely proprietary. If you have any info that says diff, please let me know ;).
ummmm the 360 VPU is based directly off of the 1000-series chips by ATi correct? I believe more specifically the 1800's. Well, this being pretty much the chip w/ the most balls out there and more than 90% of the damn market has now, how would it be hard to get 3D games on the 360? Doesn't make sense. You are saying that the new cards can barely do 3D..they beat out the 7800's or whatever that NVidia makes so obviously it's doin pretty good.

Yes, obviously the chip is quite capable, but that's not the issue. The point is that in order to create a legal and free development environment that is capable of doing 3D on the 360, it will be necessary to create from scratch a driver that supports openGL. To do this well and without a tremendous amount of reverse engineering requires documentation from ATI, which they're not about to release. Don't believe me? Ask the guys working on the OSS ATI drivers for Linux.
No flame war intended: Malakai, you seem to greatly underestimate how difficult programming for a console is when you don't have the proper and correct documentation. Hell, We have enough documentation for the Sega Saturn and it's still a major bitch to work with the VDP2.
No doubt that programming a console is hard, but the differences between your average joe emulator author and a person that is doing it professionally is that the professional game programmer: #1: has a development kit #2: has a team of 25+ people working side by side #3: is spending long hours and getting paid well for his or her work.

While an emulator author: #1: usually works alone #2: usually has a full time job and possibly a wife/husband and/or kids and doesn't have but 20 mins 2 or 3 times per week to dedicate to programming #3: usually does not have a development kit, unless leaked #4: very possibly does not have any professional experience or certification in computer programming and therefore is slow to write or what they write can be buggy.

What's the old saying? Failed programmers always becomes a math teacher. lol